On this page Surrey pension Act Now discusses the reasons why divestment is the only viable strategy for holders of fossil fuel assets,
IT'S TIME FOR FOSSIL FUELS TO RETIRE
Divestment is the opposite of investment – it means getting rid of stocks, bonds or investment funds that are unethical.
Fossil fuel companies are using their money, power and influence to block every serious attempt to stop climate change. By convincing pension funds to divest we can weaken the political influence of the fossil fuel industry. Every time an institution publicly breaks its ties with fossil fuel companies, we chip away at their power to carry out their immoral business plans.
Watch: a short video introducing pension fund divestment below.
Recently published research by the University of Augsburg shows that divestment works:
Divestment resulted in reducing the divested company's share price
The divested companies reacted by cutting their carbon emissions
Read the report: You can find out more by reading the full report here - as you might expect, it is thorough, detailed and convincing!
Watch the 5 minute video below from the report's authors, explaining their results and methodology.
TIRED OLD OBJECTIONS TO DIVESTMENT => REFRESHING NEW ANSWERS
There is no evidence that divestment works => There is now strong evidence
Selling shares has no effect on price => Yes it does!
A new buyer may not care about carbon emissions => The divested company reacts by cutting its emissions!
Engagement has more effect => NO! Divestment easily outperformed engagement in this study.
Globally, the divestment movement is having a significant impact on the clout of the fossil fuel industry. The number of institutional investors committed to divest has risen from 180 in 2014 to more than 1,500 in 2021. As a result of campaigners’ efforts, Royal Dutch Shell listed divestment campaigns as a material risk in its 2019 annual report.
Half world’s fossil fuel assets could become worthless by 2036. As meassures are taken to decarbonsie a drop in demand for oil and gas is expected to result in stranded assets.
“In a worst-case scenario, people will keep investing in fossil fuels until suddenly the demand they expected does not materialise and they realise that what they own is worthless. Then we could see a financial crisis on the scale of 2008,” - Jean-Francois Mercure, University of Exeter. Read the report here.
"Climate breakdown could render investments held by millions of people worthless" - former Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney.
Surrey Pension Fund should divest from fossil fuels before they become worthless assets!
SHARES WE DON'T WANT
There is a clear and compelling moral argument for not owning fossil fuel shares, as well as fiduciary duty to younger generations who will bare the brunt of climate breakdown.
There's no future in fossil fuels.